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Extra resources for The Will to Violence: The Politics of Personal Behaviour (Athene Series)

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T h e very t e r m 'private' still is testimony to an understanding of h u m a n s as f u n d a m e n t a l l y social beings, w h o s e retreat or b a n i s h m e n t into an exile of 'privacy' was considered a deprivation — a loss of society and c o m p a n y . W h a t today is b e i n g claimed f r o m society as the individual's 'right' was o n c e u n d e r s t o o d as a p u n i s h m e n t and a loss, i It is n o t difficult to describe the attitude of a structural self-interest in terms of today's discourses: m a n y of t h e m have expressions for and provide legitimations of it.

T h i s is apparent in the expressions w e use: selfishness and selflessness, self-love and self-sacrifice, self-interest and disinterestedness, love of self and love of others, ' h u m a n i t y ' as in 'a person of great h u m a n i t y ' , charity, philanthropy etc. T h e self and its interest are given and the n o r m , the opposition b e i n g expressed as self and other, self and non-self or 'un'-self, or as self o n the one h a n d and h u m a n i t y o n the other. T h a t is, even h u m a n i t y and love of neighbours are forms of a love and b e n e v o l e n c e of the self and towards the others — neighbours and h u m a n i t y — h u m a n i t y thus being a concept to describe e v e r y o n e apart from myself, those w h o are the issue w h e n I am n o t .

T h u s m e n ' s collective identity is constituted t h r o u g h w o m e n ' s b a n i s h m e n t into the category of ' w o m e n ' — only by explicitly n a m i n g w o m e n do they implicitly b e c o m e ' m e n ' , the n o r m of g e n d e r and the subject of patriarchal g e n d e r - t h i n k i n g . H e n c e the subject's self-affirmation lies in the act of n a m i n g the other: 4 in the exercise of the p o w e r of discourse by w h i c h the t h i n k i n g / s p e a k i n g subject gathers his addressees u n t o himself and into the ' w e ' of discourse, relegating those spoken about into the object status o f ' t h e m ' , the objects, the 'others'.

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